Can anyone stop the New England Patriots in the AFC East?

Even with Tom Brady's four-match suspension, the New England Patriots remain on course to win the AFC East for the 12th time in 13 seasons. Bill Belichick's team is far too strong for their divisional rivals and could even go on to win back-to-back Super Bowl crowns. The Patriots are an outstanding team and, despite losing their signal-caller for four matches, have an excellent work ethic that will stand them in good stead for a successful campaign.

Tom Brady
Photo courtesy by - Keith Allison

The Patriots are expected to line-up in numerous formations this season, particularly on defense. After losing Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner in the offseason, New England are short of quality cornerbacks and will attempt to play hybrid systems to shut down the opposition. Belichick has been in the NFL long enough to know that there are a number of ways to solve a problem and there isn't an immediate need to bring anybody in.

Offensively, the Super Bowl champions remain a huge threat. While they may not be as effective in their opening four matches, the Patriots are still good enough to beat the best teams in the NFL. Currently, New England are priced at around 8/1 with Betfair amongst other bookmakers to win their second successive Super Bowl title and, with the likes of Rob Gronkowski and Julian Edelman in the side, they will stand a great chance of defying the critics this term.

New England are winners, there's no doubt about that. Every player on their roster is a born winner and their tenacious attitude and hunger for success is what has kept them at the top of the NFL for such a long time. Belichick's nous and knowledge will be incredibly useful this year - perhaps more so than ever due to Brady's suspension - and the veteran coach will be looking to claim his fifth Super Bowl crown as a head coach. There's plenty of football to be played between now and 7th February, but there's no doubt that the Patriots will be hungrier than ever to reach the showpiece event and claim a fifth Super Bowl success for the franchise.

Bill Belichick
Photo courtesy by - Keith Allison

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By Mo Johnson, Copyright © 2006-2017

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